Week 2 of NFL action is behind us and now we get to check in with how our rivals in the NFC East faired. Did anybody improve their stock or were the games pretty boring without telling us much? Let’s find out!
FINAL SCORE: Colts Win 21-9
You won’t find a more classic Alex Smith game than this one. Per PFF, his 51 dropbacks resulted in only 4 throws beyond 20 yards in the air, going 1 of 4 for 34 yards. The Colts defense forced this check-fest by playing soft and keeping everything in front. This led to Redskins’ running back Chris Thompson getting force fed 14 targets for 13 catches and 92 yards, which led the receiving targets in every category.
The running game that helped the Redskins’ close out the abysmal Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 sputtered in Week 2, resulting in 11 carries and 20 yards from veteran Adrian Peterson.
With a lack of big plays, the offense stalled out and settled for three field goals.
The Colts started out hot with an 11 play, 75-yard touchdown drive that bit off 5:35 of the clock. With a good mix of running efficiency and use of tight end Eric Ebron in the passing game, the Colts would seize a 7-0 lead and never look back.
#Colts used TE Eric Ebron effectively early against the Redskins. Using him split out w/12 personnel, easy money w/mesh on 3rd and 2, then get the match-up you like in the red zone & let him make a play. pic.twitter.com/KsvHVL6ATB— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) September 18, 2018
The second quarter 8-yard touchdown run from rookie running back Nyheim Hines proved to be all the Colts would need in a game that was never in serious doubt.
Welcome to the NFL, Nyheim Hines' spin-o-rama - pic.twitter.com/EyYKhY3vuj— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) September 18, 2018
The Redskins will have to find explosive plays in their offense and find ways to get off the field on third down (56% conversion rate allowed) to threaten in the NFC East. Things don’t get easier for them anytime soon and they welcome Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to FedExField next Sunday.
FINAL SCORE: Cowboys Win 20-13
Boy oh boy are the Giants fun to watch for all the wrong reasons. Eli Manning was sacked 6 times and rookie Saquon Barkley (11-28-0 rushing) couldn’t find any daylight.
Things aren’t looking any better for the offensive line as they lost center Joe Halapio for the season to a broken leg and ankle. This comes on the heels of them trading backup center Brett Jones to the Minnesota Vikings. Backup to the backup center John Greco will step into the lineup; he’s on his third team in 12 months. Yikes.
Damien Wilson is real athletic. Great burst to close on the QB and force the fumble, which was recovered by Taco pic.twitter.com/VGCIgeWtkf— John Owning (@JohnOwning) September 17, 2018
The Dallas Cowboys’ punched above their weight defensively, but give them credit for creating havoc and limiting Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to only 4 catches and 51 yards. Six different players brought down Manning, which bodes well for a defense mostly reliant on star Demarcus Lawrence to get pressure last year.
Offensively, Dak Prescott started hot by finding the newly acquired Tavon Austin for a 64-yard touchdown on the opening drive. It would be Prescott’s only completion that traveled over 20 yards in the air on the night.
Securing a 13-0 lead by the early third quarter, the Cowboys turned to the ground game to pound the Giants’ weak defensive front. Ezekiel Elliott toted the rock 19 times for 78 yards and a touchdown, showing his first real signs of life on the season.
There’s not much to glean from this game from the Cowboys. Questions around Prescott’s ability to push the ball downfield should not be assuaged by a single completion and the run game wasn’t as effective as it could’ve been despite solid line play. They travel to play the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, who have predictably started the season off with a rocky 0-2 record after gutting their roster.
Simply put, the Giants are just a fire with a dumpster inside of it. The all-in on Eli strategy is win-less and the schedule ahead looks hellish despite a slight breather on the road against the 0-2 Houston Texans in Week 3.
Teams that start 0-2 have a 10% chance of going to the playoffs and given the quality of their performances to start the season, there’s not much of a bright side for this team. The more likely question becomes when does Manning move aside so the team can evaluate rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta?